round-headed bush clover

(Lespedeza capitata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

round-headed bush clover

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

None
Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

UPL - Obligate Upland

Midwest

FACU - Facultative Upland

Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative Upland

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Common

Habitat

Dry to moderate moisture. Prairies, sand dunes, woodland openings. Full to partial sun.

Flowering

July to September

     
Flower Color

Cream colored (yellowish-white), with a pinkish or purple throat.

     
Height

2 to 4

     

Identification

This is a 2 to 4 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on one or more stems from a taproot.

The stems are erect, leafy, and usually unbranched or with a few branches above the middle. They are densely covered with soft, silvery hairs.

The leaves are alternate, and compound, divided into 3 leaflets. They are on short, 1 16 to 3 16 long leaf stalks. The stalk of the terminal leaflet is longer than the leaf stalk. The leaflets are ascending, oval, 1 to 2 long, to ¾ wide, and may be tipped with a short, sharp, abrupt point. The hairiness of the upper surface is variable. They are usually covered in dense, soft, appressed, hairs, and often have a silvery sheen, but they may be hairless. The lower surface is always covered in dense, soft, appressed hairs. The margins are untoothed.

The inflorescence is a round, head-like, dense cluster of 10 to 45 crowded flowers. The clusters are on a short stalk at the ends of stems and branches, or are unstalked in the leaf axils. The flower heads turn dark brown when they mature.

The flowers are from less than ¼ to long and pea-like, with 5 petals organized into a broad banner at the top, 2 narrow wings, and a keel in the center formed by two petals fused together at the tip. The petals are cream colored (yellowish-white) with a pinkish or purple patch near the throat. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a 1-seeded, hairy pod, about 1 5 long.

 
Similar
Species

Prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya) has narrower leaves and loose flower heads.


Distribution Range Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Fabaceae (pea)

 

Subfamily:

Faboideae (Papilionoideae)

 

Tribe:

Desmodieae

 

Subtribe:

Lespedezinae

 
Synonyms

Hedysarum conglomeratum

Hedysarum frutescens

Hedysarum umbellatum

Lespedeza bicknellii

Lespedeza capitata f. argentea

Lespedeza capitata var. sericea

Lespedeza capitata var. stenophylla

Lespedeza capitata var. typica

Lespedeza capitata var. velutina

Lespedeza capitata var. vulgaris

Lespedeza frutescens

Lespedeza stuevei

Lespedeza velutina

 
Common
Names

bush clover

bush-clover

dusty clover

round-head bush-clover

round-headed bush clover

roundhead lespedeza

round-head lespedeza

round-headed lespedeza


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

 

axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

compound leaf

A leaf that is divided into leaflets, each leaflet having the general appearance of a leaf, with all leaflets attached to a single leaf stem.

       

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Habitat

  round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover
       

Plant

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Inflorescence

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Infructescence

  round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover
       
       
     

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